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Review: Burkheimer 13ft. A reminder of the gentle art

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Vital Statistics
Model: CF8134-4 Classic. 13ft 4in, #7/8/9, 7.75oz, 4 piece. Double Handed. Price: £564.



In the hand
This classy rod is finely finished in a varnished dark bottle green with stripper ring of stainless framed SIC and high single snakes. The rod features a plain but practical deep-anodized metallic black reel fitting but a very attractive, elegantly shaped cork handle, and beautifully hand-painted rod details on the lower blank. The rod comes in a smart grey-green aluminium tube and grey rod bag.

In the labs
When we first received this rod we feared the worst. Our lab tests showed the rod to be medium-slow in action with little inner steel. The whole rod would bend through to the handle when under pressure and felt quite different to most modern rods. Its tested frequency put it firmly in the medium-stiffness category yet it felt softer than this, though there was a certain crispness there? The strange AFTM rating of #7/8/9 was unusual too. Three numbers? We didn't understand this but our tests indicated that #7/8 was fair enough but #9 pushing it too far. We were in no hurry to river test this rod as it just didn't seem normal these days, when others were pushing carbon fibre to its fast-actioned limits? Note: Full lab tests will be published soon for Fish&Fly Members.

On the river
The rod was a revelation; an eye opener and a reminder of joys past. It took me back to my long ago favourite fly rod the Hardy Jet 9ft #6 glass. I loved that rod and I loved this one too. Have we all lost sight of what flycasting is really all about? This Burkheimer fly rod was simply a glorious delight to use. We paired it with a #7(+) long bellied weight forward line and put it through the whole range of spey casts on the lovely river Tyne. The rod was beautifully balanced, light as feather and responded to a feather-like touch—yet the line fairly sailed into the distance, simple as you please, thank you very much. Casting with this rod was like conducting an orchestra with small smooth delicate movements resulting in long, tightly unfurling note-like loops. Have we forgotten how lovely flycasting can be? This is the first Burkheimer we've used and we want to try more. It has brought us back to the noble, gentle art yet in a modern context and is a brave departure from the current norm. We highly recommend both the rod and the gentle art of flyfishing that is represents.

In practice
This is a genuine specialists tool to be brought out on those special occasions when grilse fishing in low water with floating line and tiny flies. It is for feather-light fishing on those sunny days with broken cloud and gentle summer breezes. I can think of no better rod for fishing the lovely river Alness in July, or perhaps on a summer's eve on a shrunken Dee at the mouth of the Feuch, in front of the Banchory Lodge hotel with diners watching on. We are talking here of delicate work with the most sensitive salmon fly rod we have ever encountered and the thrill of hooking a fresh grilse on a size 12 blue charm with this rod excites me now.


In the shops
The Burkheimer fly rod range is available in the UK through the specialist dealer, Alternative Tackle. Tel:  01253 808 447.

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